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PREFACE.

THE following work is designed to assist speculative inquiry, and pious meditation : it proposes to the lover of truth and goodness the doctrines of Christ in their native simplicity; and his character, as it arises from facts recorded by the evangelists : it states those evidences for our Lord's divine mission to which he himself appealed : and it contains a discussion of many difficulties relating both to the phraseology and to the subject matter of the gospel history.

My quotations from the evangelical writers are large ; and the distribution of my subject requires that the same passage should be placed in different lights. My reader will hence derive the benefit of reviewing, in a great measure, those inestimable writings which furnish my materials ; and of thus becoming more conversant with the most important part of the most important book. Though in these extracts I have made the English version my ground work, I have freely departed from it; not indeed with the strict and uniform attention of a translator, but as it occasionally seemed to admit of improvement. For notwithstanding its intrinsic merit, which we cannot but think extraordinary when we consider the age in which it was produced, every competent

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